Have you ever had someone that's not a parent try to give you parenting advice? It's usually pretty unhelpful, isn't it? If you're like me, you probably feel like punching the person in the face when they start trying to give you advice about something they've never experienced. And how about those people that act like they know everything about what's wrong with "kids these days", and that if everyone just listened to them, they'd have no problems with their kids, and our society would be magically cured of all it's problems! So obnoxious. (Side note: did you know that adults have been finding problems with "kids these days" for hundreds of years? Kindof makes you wonder what the real problem is, huh?) Or have you ever been reading a book or a blog post about the exact right way to make your marriage work, and then you dig a little deeper and find out that the author isn't married(or has only been married for a year or two)? What's up with that? I don't know about you, but I want to learn about things from people that have experienced them personally, or at least have thoroughly educated themselves about the topic.
But with that being said, I love hearing different people's perspectives. I love reading about opinions and points of view. I love when I get a little glimpse into someone else's mind. Sometimes it's validating to read something that someone just like you wrote, and to realize that you're not the only one out there that feels that way! Sometimes it's fun to read something from someone that's completely different from you. That's one of the things I love so, so much about the internet- I can expose myself to so many different cultures and viewpoints that I'd never get a chance to interact with in my day to day life. "Expand your mind" and all that- I love it! But there's a difference between sharing your perspective and coming across as an expert.
One of the criticisms I often hear about the blogging world, particularly the natural parenting blogging world, is that people make themselves appear as experts when they're not, and that readers often take a bloggers advice as absolute truth, without taking into consideration their unique situation and the advice of people that are actually experts. I would feel really bad if that happened here. So just in case, I'm going to go ahead and make things incredibly clear:
I AM NOT AN EXPERT.
On anything really. I've been married for almost 7 years(yay!), and I've learned a ton, but most of it is specific to my personal marriage, and I'm hardly qualified to help you with yours. I love chatting about breastfeeding, but I'm not an IBCLC, nor do I have any training of any kind about breastfeeding. I'm absolutely obsessed(in a good way) with natural birth, but again- no training of any kind, at least at the moment. I'm not a pediatrician, a midwife, an IBCLC, or an experienced parent whose children are grown and successful. My kids are 4 and 2- I'm hardly finished raising them.
So what's the point then? I'm here to share my experiences and thoughts, not to tell you that they're the right ones for you. When I write about extended breastfeeding, I'm simply sharing my experience. If you've had a similar experience, great! We can relate! If you've had a difference experience, great! You can share a different and valuable perspective. When I write about the GAPS diet, please, please realize that I am NOT an expert about it. I know some ladies that are experts in GAPS, and I can point you in the right direction if you're interested, but for the purposes of this blog I'm just intending to share our GAPS journey and the healing we've experienced. When I write about homebirth, I'm sharing my story and my passion for birth. My intent is not to imply that homebirth is for everyone and that you should personally have a homebirth of your own. When I write about positive discipline in my upcoming series, please realize that I don't know everything there is to know about it, and that I'm still learning myself. Insert any of the things that I write about- I'm really not an expert on anything but my own kids!
This blog is largely a creative outlet for me, a place for me to process and share thoughts that I don't often get to in my day to day life. If you enjoy reading it, then that's all I'm really hoping for! If you're inspired to think about something a little differently than you have before, or to make a healthy change that you've been considering for a while, then I'll be thrilled! But just please don't think of me as any more than another normal mom just trying to do the best she can.
Maybe that's all self explanatory for you. Maybe you think it's silly for me to go on and on about it- of course I'm not an expert on anything!!! Maybe you're abundantly aware of the fact that mommy blogs should be taken with a grain of salt and a clear perspective of your own situation. But I don't think a reminder every once in a while hurts either.
Have you been guilty of taking a blogger more seriously than you should have? Have you ever tried to implement something that wasn't a good fit for you just because a blogger encouraged it? Or have you seen a blogger trying to pass herself off as more of an expert than she really is? How do you keep a healthy perspective when reading blogs with lots of different opinions and ideas?